Cambodia, 1971. While he is working at restoring the temples of Angkor, François Bizot, a French ethnologist, is captured by the Khmer Rouge. Held in a camp deep in the jungle, Bizot is accused of being a CIA spy. His only chance of survival is to convince Douch, the young camp leader, of his innocence. While the Frenchman discovers the reality of Khmer Rouge indoctrination and recruitment, an indefinable bond forms between the prisoner and his jailer.